Are you grieving or feeling drained? I know I am. This year has wrecked health and hopes, and world events have dismayed and divided us. Rarely have so many of us felt such need for ánimo.

Ánimo is a Spanish word rich in meaning: it’s hope, it’s strength of will, it’s bright eyes, it’s courage, it’s life. ¡Ánimo! is a command to “take heart!” or to “be of good courage,” but importantly, it’s also something that you impart to others.

Chase Russell and his wife Julie served on staff from 2009-2021 in a variety of roles, including managing the children’s program, the teams & internship program, and the ministry’s communications.

In a way, just about everything we do in ministry is giving ánimo to kids. Through focused attention, kindness, and leadership, we show them their worth as image-bearers of God, and we help them develop the strength to be self-sufficient and to help others.

Ánimo is especially on my mind right now as a way to help heal the emotional damage of our changed world, starting with those around us. Show people their worth! Hold a hand, give a specific compliment, catch up with a friend, express appreciation, let someone know how you prayed for them, share something that made you laugh. It’s probably not going to solve the world’s problems, but it will help strengthen those around you—and will likely strengthen you in the process.

2020 has 60 days left in it. Let’s use them for hope, strength, and life!



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